Posts Tagged ‘Staging wounds’

How do I stage a wound if cartilage is present?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

(For the latest information based on the 2016 National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel Staging System, visit the 9/16/16 blog, “Pressure Injuries with Cartilage? Stage Away”)

In the human body the cartilage is found in joints, rib cage, ear, nose, bronchial tubes and between the inter-vertebral discs.

As wound clinicians we most often see Printcartilage just below the bridge of the nose or on the ear in our patients with pressure injuries.

Many clinicians continually question themselves how to stage a wound with visible or palpable cartilage present.

After all, cartilage does serve the same function as bone, but the word “cartilage” itself is not found in the stage IV definition from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, or NPUAP. 

So how do you stage the pressure injury with visible or palpable cartilage?

Here is your answer: In August 2012, the NPUAP released a statement that stated: “Although the presence of visible or palpable cartilage at the base of a pressure injury was not included in the stage IV terminology; it is the opinion of the NPUAP that cartilage serves the same anatomical function as bone. Therefore, pressure injuries that have exposed cartilage should be classified as a stage IV.”

What that means is any pressure injury where you can see or feel cartilage will be classified as a stage IV pressure injury.

Simply put: if you have cartilage present in the wound, you stage it as a stage IV pressure injury.

Take our webinar, Staging and Identifying Pressure Injuries, or browse through all our webinars.  Use Coupon Code: BLOG.